Next trial in online sex sting to start today

Man accused of driving to Fortson house for sex with someone he thought was underage after online chats

Robert Gerald White, the last of three men caught in the July 2006 “To Catch a Predator” net who wants a trial, is scheduled for court in Dalton, Ga., today.

White, 33, is accused of driving to a Fortson home in an attempt to have sexual relations with someone he thought was an underage girl. Instead, the person he had spoken with online was a decoy with Perverted Justice, a group that works with the “Dateline NBC” show.

“He’s charged with criminal attempt child molestation and criminal attempt statutory rape,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Mark Post.

New attorney

Eric Webb, with the Public Defender’s Office, represented White until last week. He said White recently hired Morris Wiltshire of Athens to represent him.

The change in attorneys isn’t expected to delay the trial, Webb said.

White and 19 others were caught in a weeklong sting that led to accusations he drove to a Fortson home in an attempt to molest a girl. Fifteen of those men have since pleaded guilty to various crimes and been sentenced.

Three of the remaining five — White; Marvin Harrison Smith, 36; and Reymundo Anguiano, 25 — wanted a trial.

The others

The first of the three Georgia men who wanted a trial, Anguiano, of Albany was found guilty Oct. 3 by a Gray, Ga., jury. Anguiano was sentenced to seven years in prison, followed by eight years probation, on charges of attempted child molestation and attempted enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Smith of Tifton was convicted Nov. 7 by a Dalton jury of attempted child molestation, attempted enticing a child for indecent purposes and obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, followed by 12 years probation.

Smith’s obstruction charge stemmed from an altercation at the Fortson home that led officers to use a Taser on him, Post said.

Harris County Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan granted all three men who wanted a trial a change of venue in June.

The remaining two caught by “To Catch a Predator” — Cody Michael Green, 21, and Abilash Bhaskaran, 35, both of Alpharetta — are back in jail on similar charges or have fled, respectively.

Published in: on January 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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